Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 11/20/1997
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week ending November 20 include sightings of the last date on the BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN, MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN TANAGER, RED CROSSBILL, WESTERN KINGBIRD, information to registrants on CMBO's November 22nd Waterfowl Cruise, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, and dates for the three local Christmas Bird Counts.

To all registrants for CMBO's November 22nd Waterfowl Cruise, see you there -- weather looks good. The predicted storm looks like it will blow through quickly and rains should end by Noon or earlier! There is still room on this trip, call CMBO to register.

The BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN was last seen on November 15, and most observers think it expired that night.

The MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER was last seen on the morning of November 19 at the Beanery and may still be present.

Two WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were seen briefly along New England Road on November 15.

The ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER was last reported on November 16 at the Beanery.

The WESTERN TANAGER at Higbee Beach was last reported on November 17.

The last report of CAVE SWALLOW was on November 17.

A DICKCISSEL was present at a feeder in West Cape May on Novewmber 17.

On November 16, three seperate RED CROSSBILL flocks were seen numbers 12, 19 and 15 birds.

Other sightings this week included an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER on Cape May Point on November 20, WESTERN KINGBIRDS at the Beanery and at the Hawkwatch on the 20th and a flock of 50 EVENING GROSBEAKS over the State Park on the 20th. A late GREEN HERON was at Lily Lake on the 20th

The Hawkwatch to date has tallied over 82,000 raptors. BALD EAGLES continue to come through in steady numbers. This past week 8 were seen between November 15th and 18th. GOSHAWKS have been seen regularly, with 13 seen on the 15th, 7 on the 16th, and 4 on the 17th. GOLDEN EAGLES tallied 2 on the 15th, 4 on the 16th, 1 on the 17th, and 2 on the 18th. The hawkwatch will run through Thanksgiving with Jerry Liguori, our official counter, and Vince Elia on Wednesdays.

CMBO's fulltime Seawatch at the north end of Avalon, 7th Street and the beach, is manned this season by Bill Seng, Fred Mears, and Dave Ward, and Gail Dwyer on weekends. The Seawatch this week enjoyed the fall's first HARLEQUIN DUCKS, 4 on November 18. Other highlights incude 3 JAEGERS on the 18th & 19th. 4 KITTIWAKES on the 16th & 18th. A RED-NECKED GREBE on November 19. Thousands of RED-THROATED LOONS, with 2800 passing on the 18th and 3,600 on the 19th and 2,000+ GANNETS on the 18th.

Katy Duffy spent the last month at Cape May banding 74 owls, including 52 SAW-WHETS, 20 LONG-EAREDS, and 2 BARN OWLS. Clear, cold nights of gently north to northwest winds, produced flights: 8 owls on the 15th, 1 on the 16th, 9 on the 17th, 5 on the 18th, and 3 on the 19th, all Saw-whets except for 5 Long-eareds on the 17th, 2 on the 15th, and 2 Barn Owls on the 15th. Many visitors enjoyed daytime roosting Long-eared Owls, 2 at the Beanery on the 16th and 17th. A Long-eared Owl caught the night of November 17th was already banded 5 years ago here at Cape May on November 9, 1992. One of the Barn Owls banded this week was already banded and came from a nest this June in Whitehouse, Cumberland County (a bird banded by Len Soucy's assistant, Jim Stamey).

Local Nature Notes follow: Despite icy cold nights, sunny days continue to produce warm edges and butterflies & dragonflies. MONARCH, RED ADMIRALS, LADIES, QUESTION MARK TYPE, numbers of ORANGE SULPHURS, and fair numbers of GREEN DARNER dragonflies have all been enjoyed this week. The recent strong winds blew many of the leaves from the trees so our fall colors were short lived, but it's now easier to look into the woods for large stick nests that courting Great Horned Owls may use in January when they lay their eggs. Each dawn and dusk, and sometimes through the nights, listen for Great Horneds dueting -- the male's call is longer and higher, the female's call is a lower and briefer answer.

The Cape May Bird Observatory's Program Schedule offers morning bird walks every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, an evening bird walk each Friday through November. The Saturday morning bird walk continues through December. Special upcoming preregistration programs include a "Waterfowl Cruise" on November 22nd, a "Binoculars & Spotting Scopes Workshop" on November 29, a 2-day "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" on November 29-30, and a "Feed the Birds Workshop" on December 6, a "Family Program on the Birds of the Backyard" on December 6, and a "Bird Seed Sale Day" on December 6th which does require pre-ordering! Stop by either center to pick up CMBO's program schedule which gives full details on all our programs or call us at 609-861-0700.

Details on upcoming local Christmas Bird Counts follow: The Cape May Count will be held December 21 (contact Vince Elia at 861-0700, x-14; or Louise Zemaitis at 884-2736); the Belleplain Count will be held on December 28 (contact Paul Kosten prior to December 21 at 861-5827; the Cumberland Count will be held January 4 (contact Clay Sutton at 465-3397).

The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor, featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer, and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book store and birding information. Both are open daily, 10-5.

The Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to perpetuate and preserve the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory, call 609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to visit our 2 birding bookstores.

The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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